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Thread: VW to save $19B by 2019 with "modular transverse matrix"

  1. #1

    Default VW to save $19B by 2019 with "modular transverse matrix"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...91A04D20130211

    (Reuters) - Ulrich Hackenberg isn't yet a household name but if Volkswagen's $70 billion bet on his big idea pays off, he may join the likes of Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan and Taiichi Ohno in the canon of auto industry pioneers.


    Since the heyday of Henry Ford and his Model T, the world's automakers have considered the "global car" to be their Holy Grail - the same basic design that can be built, in subtle variations, and sold in different markets.




    Take that fundamental concept, stretch it across many different vehicle types, sizes and brands, then build them by the millions, and you begin to sense the enormity of Volkswagen's rapidly evolving "mega-platform" strategy and its potential impact on competitors around the globe.
    Auto engineer Hackenberg nurtured this bright idea for three decades, after early pitches to auto executives were largely ignored, until somebody finally bought it wholesale. The man who bit was Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn.


    Hackenberg's fundamental rethink of vehicle platforms, the industrial Lego from which cars are designed and made, is helping power the German company to the top of the global sales charts several years ahead of its 2018 target. It could also make VW one of the most profitable carmakers in the world.


    The strategy is not without risk. It could, for instance, expose Volkswagen to the threat of a massive global recall if a single part, used in millions of cars, fails.


    But rivals have taken note of the power behind its move. Volkswagen's modular platforms are being benchmarked by most of the world's top automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co, according to company executives.


    "We'd be crazy not to," said a senior Ford official, requesting anonymity because of the proprietary nature of the subject.


    VW's work on its largest mega-platform, known internally as MQB, began in earnest in 2007 and is being implemented over the next four years at a cost of nearly $70 billion, estimates Morgan Stanley. The potential payoff is compelling: Projected annual gross savings by 2019 of $19 billion, according to the bank, with gross margins approaching 10 percent.


    The automaker is expected to announce a record profit for 2012 of more than $30 billion later this month (February 22), according to Bernstein Research, whose senior analyst, Max Warburton, observes: "VW looks to have unstoppable momentum in China, the U.S., Europe and most of the rest of the world."


    That momentum has been building for some time, even before the initial deployment last year of Hackenberg's brainchild.
    It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen
    to set brush fires in peoples minds! Revolution is Action upon Revelation!

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  3. #2

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    Well I know their TDI diesel is showing up in all kinds of vehicles. I loved that engine in my VW.
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  4. #3

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    They aren't talking about engines, they're talking about 'platforms'. I love the way they talk about this like it's something new; it isn't. Part of the reason for federal CAFE regulations is to make it easier for multinational car companies to sell the same thing in the U.S. that they sell where gas is expensive.





    All of these vehicles use the same transaxle, the same suspension, and the same basic structure under the skin.



    Diagram of the rear-engine Volkswagen 'platform'.




    And a couple of fiberglas bodies by kit builders for the same platform.
    Last edited by acptulsa; 02-11-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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  5. #4

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    What the...why haven't these huge companies been doing this for the last 100 years? If I am understanding this correctly, then this is one of the most basic concepts in the production business. honestly, if I had a car company I would have built the entire company from this principle, i wouldn't even think about the other option. I would have two models. One that can be put on all of my cars and mini-vans. Another that can be put on all of my SUVs and Trucks. You could have 20+ vehicles in your lineup and the only thing that would be different is the seating arrangement and exterior.

    Also, doesn't Subaru do something somewhat similar with their engines? Isn't every vehicle they make all wheel drive?
    Last edited by 2young2vote; 02-11-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2young2vote View Post
    What the...why haven't these huge companies been doing this for the last 100 years?
    Only ninety. Dude came up with a structure that can interchange among an even wider range of models and meet modern statutes. The 'journalist' would have explained what was special about it, but the 'journalist' either didn't figure that out or didn't want to make the article long enough to explain it. So, the 'journalist' misrepresented history instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Maynard Keynes
    In the long run we're all dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin Coolidge
    The attempt to regulate, control, and prescribe all manner of conduct and social relations is very old. It was always the practice of primitive peoples.
    In an insane world, crazy is the new sane.

  7. #6
    Contributing Member Henry Rogue's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but i would guess many frames where interchangeable before the weight saving unibody became common.
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  8. #7

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    Well its a bit difficult if you consider different vehicles have different widths, lengths, cargo/weight requirements. Making 1 size fits all means no vehicle will be the best at what it does, so why would someone buy a second rate vehicle if they could buy a truck with a specific truck axle, etc...

    So then they have to lower the price to draw in customers, but this is just general discussion of the topic. I do not know any specifics of this new VW technology or what exactly it is.
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  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Only ninety. Dude came up with a structure that can interchange among an even wider range of models and meet modern statutes. The 'journalist' would have explained what was special about it, but the 'journalist' either didn't figure that out or didn't want to make the article long enough to explain it. So, the 'journalist' misrepresented history instead.
    Yup.

  10. #9

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    Front wheel drive = never getting my dollar!

    Also, what a BS quote:

    "We'd be crazy not to," said a senior Ford official...

    Right.
    Last edited by pauljmccain; 02-11-2013 at 09:10 PM.





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